Detail from the left sleeve of my jacket.

Detail from the left sleeve of my jacket.

My apologies for being absent Friday.  I was feeling a bit under the weather.  The good news though is that I’m fairly certain it had more to do something I ate than any seasonal bug and after taking some time this weekend to rest I’m feeling much better. 

While I was resting up this weekend I spent some time working on several of my current projects.  I finished my wool hood and got in some good work on my jacket.  If I can just stay on schedule I should have the left sleeve and the gores done by the end of the month. 

This jacket is probably the most long term project I have ever worked on.  I’ve estimated it will take around 1000 hours to complete and so far I’m only a little over half way through the first sleeve.  While it’s my first major long term project (500-1000 hrs) I’m sure it will not be my last (I already know I want to do at least one other jacket…I know, it’s crazy) and I’ve been learn quite a lot about how to keep focused and motivated and stave off those pesky feelings of being overwhelmed. 

Big dreams have lots of parts 

At 1000 hours the jacket is a huge project and it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re looking at the whole thing.  But every big project can be easily broken down into parts.  The jacket itself is made up of 11 pieces (2 sleeves, 1 right front, 1 right back, 1 left front, 1 left back, and 5 gores) and each of those pieces can be broken down further into outlining, fill stitches, and spangles before we even begin to consider assembly.  Just focus on breaking your project down into its individual pieces and set smaller goals for each of those pieces.  The smaller goals will help keep you motivated and by breaking it down into smaller more manageable pieces you are less likely to become overwhelmed but the larger project. 

Sometimes you just need a break 

It’s true.  No matter how focused you are on your project or how motivated you are to finish sometimes you may just need a break.  And that’s ok!  Take a day or too off.  Relax.  Work on something else if you want to.  Read a book.  No matter what you do just take some time for you.  You’ll be able to come back to your project renewed and ready to finish. 

Finishing a small project can keep you going 

Sometimes just finishing a small project can up your motivation.  A few weeks ago a friend of mine suggested reorganizing my project list for my PerCoFiMo so that I would finish my shortest projects first.  The idea is that by getting shorter projects finished you feel more accomplished and boost motivation for larger projects.  And you know what…it works!  I felt much more accomplished and motivated after finishing my hood than I did when I was just powering through the jacket.  Finishing it gave me a little boost and helped keep me excited about my other projects. 

Sometimes you really just have to sit down and do it 

Oftentimes the hardest part of doing something is just getting started.  It’s been a couple days (or a couple weeks) since you last worked on your project and you find that your motivation and momentum have waned.  That’s ok.  Sometimes all we need to get going is to just get started again.  Maybe you don’t have a lot of time and all you can spare is 15 min.  That’s great.  If you spend those 15 min working on your project you’ll be 15 min closer to being done.  You also might find that after spending 15 min working on your project you’ve once again found your groove.


Large, long term projects can be hard to complete just based on the amount of time they take.  It’s hard to stay motivated and focused for that long.  But with a few simple tricks and maybe a break or two you’ll be on you way to finishing.


  1. I schedule a certain amount of time each day for sewing on my large project. I haven’t worked on it for about a week though. You can check it out at on my blog,

  2. I schedule some time to work on mine each day, and use my kitchen timer to schedule that time. When the timer goes off, I’m done.l I apply the same tactic to cleaning.

  3. I like the timer rule. I’ve used it myself for projects, cleaning, and even at work! It’s a great idea. I like your blog. I’ll deffinitly be reading it more in the future. 🙂

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